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ACLU Has Found Gitmo ‘Prisoner Abuse’!

From their mouthpieces at the New York Times:

A.C.L.U. Lawyers Mine Documents for Interrogation Facts


August 30, 2009

WASHINGTON — In the spring of 2003, long before Abu Ghraib or secret prisons became part of the American vocabulary, a pair of recently hired lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union noticed a handful of news reports about allegations of abuse of prisoners in American custody.

The lawyers, Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, wondered: Was there a broader pattern of abuse, and could a Freedom of Information Act request uncover it? Some of their colleagues, more experienced with the frustrations of such document demands, were skeptical. One made a tongue-in-cheek offer of $1 for every page they turned up.

Six years later, the detention document request and subsequent lawsuit are among the most successful in the history of public disclosure, with 130,000 pages of previously secret documents released to date and the prospect of more.

The case has produced revelation after revelation: battles between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the military over the treatment of detainees at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp; autopsy reports on prisoners who died in custody in Afghanistan and Iraq; the Justice Department’s long-secret memorandums justifying harsh interrogation methods; and day-by-day descriptions of what happened inside the Central Intelligence Agency’s overseas prisons.

“This is certainly a landmark case in every respect, including in the history of the Freedom of Information Act,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists and an expert on the act.

But Mr. Aftergood said the case also illustrated how costly litigation was often necessary to unearth documents the government preferred to protect. “The law gives you standing to fight,” he said. “It doesn’t guarantee victory.”

In fact, the A.C.L.U. and its partners, a New Jersey law firm, Gibson P.C., and four other advocacy groups, estimate that they have put more than 10,000 hours of legal work into the case. The parties have filed more than 100 motions before Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the United States District Court in Manhattan; appeared for formal court arguments a dozen times; and twice taken disputes to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. And now, for the first time, the government is seeking a hearing before the Supreme Court.

The total costs in lawyers’ time and other expenses may exceed $2 million, and under the law, the plaintiffs are entitled to seek reimbursement from the government if they “substantially prevail” in their quest — a standard almost certainly met in this case

Ms. Singh recalls being teased by a senior colleague in 2003 who asked, “ ‘Are you clearing out shelf space for all the documents you’ll get?’ ” The joke backfired, as reams of paper began to arrive. The organization eventually had to create a new computer system to handle the large electronic database, and in 2007 the two lawyers published a book-length collection of the documents obtained by then, called “Administration of Torture.”

Four former C.I.A. directors and the current one, Leon E. Panetta, had all argued unsuccessfully against the release, which had not yet been ordered by the court in the A.C.L.U. case, though the plaintiffs’ lawyers said they believed that the release would eventually happen…

The A.C.L.U.’s success has led some news organizations to take a new look at the potential of the Freedom of Information Act to expose government secrets. But the A.C.L.U. lawyers note that their effort has repeatedly fed off the work of investigative reporters who have identified cases of abuse, legal opinions and other documents that the organization then pursued in court.

Their lawsuit continues. On Monday, the government faces yet another court-imposed deadline to turn over more documents — including the 2001 presidential directive authorizing the secret prisons — or explain why they must be withheld.

Note when the ACLU began their quest, “In the spring of 2003.”

The US only invaded Iraq in March 2003.

They didn’t waste any time.

This is probably as a good a time as ever to remember the always timely quote of the ACLU’s founder, Roger Nash Baldwin:

My "chief aversion" is the system of greed, private profit, privilege, and violence which makes up the control of the world today, and which has brought it the tragic crisis of unprecedented hunger and unemployment. I am opposed to the new deal [sic] because it strives to strengthen and prolong production for private profit. At bottom I am for conserving the full powers of every person on earth by expanding them to their individual limits. Therefore, I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the State itself as an instrument of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal. It sums up into one single purpose — the abolition of the system dog-eat-dog under which we live, and the substitution by the most effective non-violence possible of a system of cooperative ownership and use of all wealth.

— From Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union, pp. 228-229

Certainly under the Sharia Law of the Grand Caliphate there will be no more eating of dogs.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, August 29th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “ACLU Has Found Gitmo ‘Prisoner Abuse’!”

  1. Howard Roark says:

    Four legs good, two legs bad.

  2. the cyber ghost says:

    If the ACLU were really what it claims and looked at this Administration , they’d find Constitutional Abuse and do something. Naw that would be to easy and against there agenda.

    • TwilightZoned says:

      “If the ACLU were really what it claims and looked at this Administration , they’d find Constitutional Abuse and do something.”

      Damn straight! My first thoughts exactly.

  3. Randy B says:

    If they started in the spring of 2003 then they were late. I suspect it was sooner than that.

    The Center for Constitutional Rights (a truly vile far leftist group) filed their first motion in February 2002. Whatever we may think about the ACLU, the CCR and the National Lawyers Guild are worse.

    At least Baldwin purged the ACLU of communists in 1940 — although, obviously, not for long enough. It was groups like the NLG that they moved to.

  4. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    If Roger Nash Baldwin was truly for the benefits of communism, such as equality for all and the abolition of classes within society, then how did he explain the same old abuses in the Soviet Union? Such as the party members with their dachas, private doctors, exclusive stores, and better living conditions than the average Soviet. Or were these things just bugs needing to be worked out of the system? I know it’s wrong but sometimes I wish I had the power to banish the ACLU and other similar organizations from our country. Some would call that censorship. I call it purging the evil from the land.

    • Randy B says:

      To be fair, Baldwin probably didn’t know any better. Liberals who went to visit Russia only met the loyal party members, and were shown Potemkin villages. This is depicted in Amity Shlaes’ book THE FORGOTTEN MAN. Some saw through that. I don’t remember if Baldwin did.

      It was the show trials that made him turn against the Soviet Union. Like most leftists, he probably believed communism could still work if done by nice people. That’s an ignorant view now, but communism didn’t have enough history behind it in 1940. Besides, people believe what they want to believe.

    • proreason says:

      “Like most leftists, he probably believed communism could still work if done by nice people.”

      The only problem with that view is that it has never happened, and not just for communism, for any totalitarian regime.

      I guess you could argue that socialism works in Europe, but they are beginning to face Margaret Thatcher’s famous observation…..”The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”.

      Personally, I believe there will be widespread and severe violence in Europe in the next couple of decades, as the native young white population realizes the trap they are in. It will be interesting to see whether the government turns on the natives, or aligns itself with recipients of the largesse. It will be really ugly and chaotic.

  5. P. Aaron says:

    Quote the Idoit ACLU dude: Therefore, I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the State itself as an instrument of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.

    Uh, HEY Idiot ACLU dude. You need a state to enjoy life under socialism/communism…you twit.

  6. Has the ACLU started investigating the Obama administration’s discrimination against white people yet?

  7. Reality Bytes says:

    Come On! There are 100’s of guys downtown that would pay good money for this kind of treatment!

  8. Liberals Demise says:

    Maybe their are referring to the second hand smoke blown in the perps face ………. it looks to me as if he is wearing the face mask properly.
    What gives?

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